Don Clarke of Durban, South Africa, is one of the country's most successful and versatile singer/songwriters. He has had many of his songs recorded over the years by a diverse selection of artists and was the winner of a National Songwriters Competition, Song for South Africa', with his song ,'Sanbonani', which became a massive hit. This same song has just earned him an Honourable Mention Award in the 1999 USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION.
He has also written a large portion of the music for the films of Leon Schuster, South Africa's most successful film maker. In addition, he has written hundreds of jingles and owns a commercial recording studio, several labels and a publishing company. Don's own band, Adult Art, have twice been nominated for a SAMA Award in the categories, Best Adult Contemporary Album', and Best Duo or Group'.
Don has recently moved to the serenity of the Southern Drakensberg Mountains in order to concentrate on songwriting, with a view to establishing himself in the overseas market.
Ironically, this incredibly talented tune-smith has, until recently, never had his music exposed outside South Africa. Winning an award in the 1999 USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION will hopefully enable him to establish a platform from which to do this.
Much of my music is dedicated to one overriding philosophy. The belief that, of all the living creatures on this planet, only one is terribly out of step with our most vital life-force; - Nature. This creature is man; a bombastic, arrogant, proud, two-legged monster who has "risen above" the powers that created him and is hell bent on altering or manipulating all that is around him. Using powerful, clever tools, this animal has found the means to tamper with even the most fundamental, timeless elements that govern natural life and sustain the laws of the universe. Not satisfied with a biologically compatible pace of life, man has devised many ways to speed up his existence. As a result he now moves so fast through each day that he is no longer in touch with basic reality. His foremost belief is that speed will bring him more quickly to the things that he covets the most; Money and Power. But biologically he is not really suited to the stresses that come with such a fast, busy way of life and so he is in a state of psychological and of spiritual decay. And no longer able to cure this condition via natural, external means, he has created antidotes like mind-altering substances and other artificial stimuli which temporarily enable him to change his foul world by internally altering his perception of this world. A very sad cure indeed. But the saddest thing of all is that, while mankind may eventually destroy himself, he will also destroy, and has already seriously compromised, the lives of all the voiceless, less ambitious creatures who share this planet with him. These creatures live only by the rising and setting of the sun and have as much right to this earth as man does. These creatures have not changed in thousands of years; and neither do they want to. They are not part of man's artificial evolution and live their lives in perfect harmony with nature at the pace they were created to. In some small way I feel charged to call out a warning to my brothers and sisters through this music. The time has come to slow down and look once again at the earth, the sky, the mountains and the enormous green bounty of nature's beauty. And, while I believe that todays technology - computers, the internet and "Virtual Reality" - have their place, these things may well have us trapped in a life so fast and artificial that all common, real, natural values may be permanently swept away. After all, "Virtual Reality" may just be a desperate attempt to recreate the reality what we have lost, and I sincerely believe we may be on the brink of the Digital Holocaust. Now that you have finished reading this, hold up your hands to the nearest window and look at the sky through your fingers. And thank God for Nature's small mercies which gave you life in the first place. Don Clarke 1997
CONTACT DETAILS: P.O. BOX 107, HIMEVILLE, NATAL, 3256, SOUTH AFRICA EMAIL : SOUND.ADVICE@pixie.co.za